New Zealand Dinner

Bailliage of Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, October 7, 2021

A 'Sommelier's journey' tasting dinner
" a memorable evening "

Take a Polish-born Sommelier trained in Germany, Italy and Australia, an Indian-trained chef, invite knowledgeable guests from the Chaîne to a six-course “dégustation” dinner in a multi award-winning wine bar in Wellington and the result is a memorable evening.

Bailli Helen Meehan gave Maciej Zimny, Sommelier and co-owner of Noble Rot, the venue for the dinner, firm instructions that wine was to be the evening’s focus. Maciej delighted the diners with his selections.

On his “Sommelier’s Journey” wines from Italy, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Australia and Spain featured. Maciej matched food and wine that surprised and delighted.

To start: two canapés - a chicken liver parfait, and a horn of pastry filled with whipped goats’ cheese - were accompanied by a Prosecco Rosé. Rather fuller bodied, more savoury than the usual Prosecco therefore a better match with the richness of the canapés which came with pickled carrot. Each course, bar the chocolate dessert, featured a pickle in some form.

Next: smoked prawn crumpet was served with a Neudorf Albariño from Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island. It was delicately scented with floral and citrus with a touch of minerality.

Followed by: pickled pork Pithivier - rich with a milky cow’s cheese, mustard mix, and quail egg on sauerkraut. The wine was from Pinot Gris from Germany’s Pfalz region. Its firm texture and lingering after taste made a great match.

Main: Wakanui beef cheek served evenly red rare throughout with a cauliflower floret being the accompanying pickle, plus a square of pomme anna, charred shallots and jus. A flavoursome and smooth South African Kaapzicht Estate Shiraz from Stellenbosch partnered.

Lastly: pasteurized ewe’s milk cheese with truffle balancing rich earthy flavours, a triangular slice served with crumbled hazelnuts, figs and beetroot adorned with a cherry syrup. Accompanied by a McLaren Vale Grenache from South Australia.

Highlight: dessert wine being a 100% Monastrell from Spain - dark, sweet, and luscious highly concentrated, complex flavouring recalling figs and ripe fruits. One of the few wines that goes well with a rich dark chocolate crémeux.

Noble Rot is Wellington’s only Continental-style wine bar. Intimate, unpretentious décor, brick walls painted white, channel an intimate European underground vibe. Dégustation menus are offered nightly, as are exquisite bar snacks and over 500 wines are stocked.

Awarded “Wine Experience of the Year” thrice by two separate bodies since it opened in 2016, this is an obvious tribute to co-owners Josh Pointon and Maciej Zimny, who met studying for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma.

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